Matthew 13:10

ESV Then the disciples came and said to him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?”
NIV The disciples came to him and asked, 'Why do you speak to the people in parables?'
NASB And the disciples came up and said to Him, 'Why do You speak to them in parables?'
CSB Then the disciples came up and asked him, "Why are you speaking to them in parables? "
NLT His disciples came and asked him, 'Why do you use parables when you talk to the people?'
KJV And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?

What does Matthew 13:10 mean?

Matthew described Jesus speaking to a large crowd gathered on the shore of the Sea of Galilee while sitting in a boat. It is possible that the conversation with His closer group of disciples (Matthew 13:10–23) takes place after that larger teaching session has ended.

In either case, Matthew pictures two different groups of people listening to Jesus' teaching. One group is made up of His disciples, which would have included the Twelve (Matthew 10:1–4) and possibly others. The other group is "the crowds." This segment is made up of Israelites who have travelled far to find healing for themselves or their loved ones, to witness miraculous healings, or to hear Jesus' teaching.

The disciples now ask why Jesus speaks to the other group, the crowds, in parables. Jesus has not always done this when speaking to large crowds, including in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5—7). It may represent a change in His teaching style. This change makes Jesus' immediate meaning less clear, something the disciples would have wondered about. Christ will show in the following verses He is deliberately adding a thin layer of obscurity to His teaching, and will explain why.
What is the Gospel?
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